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Canadian man loses $27 million lottery jackpot by 7 seconds

Jan 30, 2015, 9:34 am

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The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed an appeal from a Quebec man who tried to claim a $27 million jackpot based on a lottery ticket printed seven seconds after the cut-off time.

On Thursday, Canada's top court said it would not hear Joel Ifergan's lottery case. The SCC dismissed his request for an appeal with costs.

Ifergan purchased two lottery tickets for the May 23, 2008 Super 7 draw at 8:59 p.m., one minute ahead of the weekly draw deadline. His first ticket printed with the May 23 draw date on it, but his second one came out seven seconds after 9:00, with the May 30 draw date printed at the top.

That second ticket had all the winning numbers for the May 23 jackpot, but Loto-Quebec rejected the claim because the ticket said May 30.

"I'm really disappointed in the decision, and it's not because it's about the money," Ifergan told CTV News Channel after his case was dismissed Thursday.

Ifergan says he's entitled to half of the $27 million awarded in the May 23 draw because his tickets were purchased ahead of the deadline, regardless of whether they were printed after it. He blames Loto-Quebec's 10-second processing delay for denying him his share of the jackpot, which was awarded to another winner.

"Loto-Quebec during the trial never argued the fact that my request for the two tickets was in their system at 8:59.47," he told CTV Montreal.

"The deadline that they advertise was for 9 p.m. — which I did."

Ifergan added that Loto-Quebec's slow processing system puts Quebecers at a "disadvantage" when compared to the rest of Canada.

In the rest of Canada, they shut down at 9 p.m. and you can't buy a ticket," he told The Canadian Press. "But everything in their system prior to 9 p.m. gets processed and you get a ticket, even if it comes out five minutes later."

"Had those tickets been bought anywhere else in Canada, I would have been a millionaire seven years ago," Ifergan said.

The career accountant spent nearly seven years and $100,000 in legal fees fighting for his half of the jackpot.

The Quebec Superior Court and the Quebec Court of Appeal had also ruled against him in 2012 and 2014 respectively.

"Yes, it cost me a lot of money, but it also consumed me for seven years," he said. He added that the SCC did not provide an explanation with its ruling.

"My crusade is up, I've done all I can, I spent enough money going to the Supreme Court," Ifergan told The Canadian Press

The SCC typically does not provide an explanation when it chooses not to hear an appeal.

Loto-Quebec spokesman, Jean-Pierre Roy, said he is satisfied with the Supreme Court's decision.

"The (original) judgement was clear and convincing that Loto-Quebec procedures were altogether reliable and integrated and were the right ones," Roy said.

He added that no protocol changes are expected in the future.

Ifergan was out for ice cream when he made a last-minute decision to purchase a Super 7 draw ticket

Ifergan says he stopped at a convenience store, where he was told he had less than a minute to buy the two tickets.

The store's owner, Mehernosh Iranpur, says he sold Ifergan the tickets, and Ifergan knew the second ticket was for the next draw.

"I asked him, 'It's for next week. Do you want it or not?'" Iranpur said. "He says, 'No, I'll keep it.'"

Ifergan says he and Iranpur were both confused by the situation.

"It was the first time he'd ever seen it," Ifergan said. "Nobody knew."

But Ifergan told The Canadian Press that he accepted the ticket.

The Lotto Super 7 draw was discontinued in September of 2009 and replaced with Lotto Max. Participants in the Super 7 draw were able select their own numbers or opt for random ones.

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Thanks to hearsetrax for the tip.

CTV, Lottery Post Staff

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43 comments. Last comment 5 years ago by RL-RANDOMLOGIC.
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harvard,il
United States
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September 4, 2010
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Posted: January 30, 2015, 9:40 am - IP Logged

The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed an appeal from a Quebec man who tried to claim a $27 million jackpot based on a lottery ticket printed seven seconds after the cut-off time.

On Thursday, Canada's top court said it would not hear Joel Ifergan's lottery case. The SCC dismissed his request for an appeal with costs.

Ifergan purchased two lottery tickets for the May 23, 2008 Super 7 draw at 8:59 p.m., one minute ahead of the weekly draw deadline. His first ticket printed with the May 23 draw date on it, but his second one came out seven seconds after 9:00, with the May 30 draw date printed at the top.

That second ticket had all the winning numbers for the May 23 jackpot, but Loto-Quebec rejected the claim because the ticket said May 30.

"I'm really disappointed in the decision, and it's not because it's about the money," Ifergan told CTV News Channel after his case was dismissed Thursday.

Ifergan says he's entitled to half of the $27 million awarded in the May 23 draw because his tickets were purchased ahead of the deadline, regardless of whether they were printed after it. He blames Loto-Quebec's 10-second processing delay for denying him his share of the jackpot, which was awarded to another winner.

"Loto-Quebec during the trial never argued the fact that my request for the two tickets was in their system at 8:59.47," he told CTV Montreal.

"The deadline that they advertise was for 9 p.m. — which I did."

Ifergan added that Loto-Quebec's slow processing system puts Quebecers at a "disadvantage" when compared to the rest of Canada.

In the rest of Canada, they shut down at 9 p.m. and you can't buy a ticket," he told The Canadian Press. "But everything in their system prior to 9 p.m. gets processed and you get a ticket, even if it comes out five minutes later."

"Had those tickets been bought anywhere else in Canada, I would have been a millionaire seven years ago," Ifergan said.

The career accountant spent nearly seven years and $100,000 in legal fees fighting for his half of the jackpot.

The Quebec Superior Court and the Quebec Court of Appeal had also ruled against him in 2012 and 2014 respectively.

"Yes, it cost me a lot of money, but it also consumed me for seven years," he said. He added that the SCC did not provide an explanation with its ruling.

"My crusade is up, I've done all I can, I spent enough money going to the Supreme Court," Ifergan told The Canadian Press

The SCC typically does not provide an explanation when it chooses not to hear an appeal.

Loto-Quebec spokesman, Jean-Pierre Roy, said he is satisfied with the Supreme Court's decision.

"The (original) judgement was clear and convincing that Loto-Quebec procedures were altogether reliable and integrated and were the right ones," Roy said.

He added that no protocol changes are expected in the future.

Ifergan was out for ice cream when he made a last-minute decision to purchase a Super 7 draw ticket

Ifergan says he stopped at a convenience store, where he was told he had less than a minute to buy the two tickets.

The store's owner, Mehernosh Iranpur, says he sold Ifergan the tickets, and Ifergan knew the second ticket was for the next draw.

"I asked him, 'It's for next week. Do you want it or not?'" Iranpur said. "He says, 'No, I'll keep it.'"

Ifergan says he and Iranpur were both confused by the situation.

"It was the first time he'd ever seen it," Ifergan said. "Nobody knew."

But Ifergan told The Canadian Press that he accepted the ticket.

The Lotto Super 7 draw was discontinued in September of 2009 and replaced with Lotto Max. Participants in the Super 7 draw were able select their own numbers or opt for random ones.

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Thanks to hearsetrax for the tip.

you should not wait til the end to buy tickets. give it time. sucks tobe him tho

i want to be a millionaire a second time!

    dallascowboyfan's avatar - chi
    Oklahoma
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    Posted: January 30, 2015, 9:45 am - IP Logged

    Umm...... he spent over $100,000 in legal fees when the clerk told him that the last ticket was for the next draw he kept the ticket anyway Bang Head

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      Idaho
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      Posted: January 30, 2015, 9:49 am - IP Logged

      you should not wait til the end to buy tickets. give it time. sucks tobe him tho

      Yep. Sad but he shouldn't have waited until the last minute to buy tickets. The terminal was doing it's job and printed the tickets out the way it was programmed to.

      "My homepage - twitter - youtube - steam - tumblr"

      ThatScaryChick

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        Syracuse
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        Posted: January 30, 2015, 9:58 am - IP Logged

        you gotta be in  it to win it,blame yourself you wait to long to purchase your tickets.As Maxwell Smart would say "99 I only missed it by that much "

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          Posted: January 30, 2015, 9:59 am - IP Logged

          2X loser?. Man, that sucks. You should have known that the lottery gods won't budge. Sad

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            Posted: January 30, 2015, 10:09 am - IP Logged

            rather a strange tale to say the least ......

            but I wonder what his excuses were for buying tickets that late in the evening

              savagegoose's avatar - ProfilePho
              adelaide sa
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              Posted: January 30, 2015, 10:19 am - IP Logged

              intrinsically a ticket printed 10 sec after the draw cut of, could never have been in any way considered to have somehow managed to cheat the system as the  draw was still unknown at the time of printing. its more in order to save the loto paying out some prize money, and in the  spirit of protecting from  cheats, that the rule is in place. if i was running loto and won i would have at least made an out of court agreement to pay his legal costs IF HE AGREED TO NEVER BRING THE ACTION AGAIN., and at least pay $100k to the sucker for his troubles.

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              :

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                Posted: January 30, 2015, 10:20 am - IP Logged

                Yes, it is a very strange story ... it could have went his way had the first ticket that printed had the winning numbers on it ... also think what the real winner of the jackpot was going through, possibility having to return half of the jackpot, had the court case decision gone another way.

                All that dragging on for years ... although I would think the real winner felt some relief after the first court decision went their way.

                ...

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                  Left Coast
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                  Posted: January 30, 2015, 11:03 am - IP Logged

                  Bummer for him. I realize this is Canada, but I would swear that in some states, the ticket machines actually shut down or go offline for an hour or two when the draw deadline passes. Presumably to prevent something like this being disputed. Is that real or am I mis-remembering it?

                  And my headline would have said "misses" jackpot by seven seconds, not loses.

                  good luck everyone.

                    maringoman's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcTbRxpKQmOfcCoUqF2FyqIOAwDo7rg9G-lfJLAALPGWJWwiz19eRw
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                    Posted: January 30, 2015, 11:31 am - IP Logged

                    This is the lottery, almost doesn't count.

                    That money's gone fo ever

                      Guru101's avatar - rw6jhh
                      Indiana
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                      Posted: January 30, 2015, 11:38 am - IP Logged

                      This man isn't entitled to anything. Nobody ever wants to take into account the butterfly effect. If you wrote down 6 numbers on a piece of paper right now for tonight's Mega Millions, didn't play them, and then those numbers came out tonight, the vast majority of people would be thinking to themselves "Oh my God, I just lost out on millions of dollars". No you didn't. The numbers would have most likely been different had you played them. I know it's hard to believe, but it's scientifically correct.

                      Gonna win.Big Smile

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                        Posted: January 30, 2015, 11:43 am - IP Logged

                        If it were his own numbers I would empathize. The same numbers might not have been pulled had the machine produced the ticket even a second earlier. He should not feel robbed, and I think it was silly to sue. I also think it's weird that the machine doesn't go offline for an hour or two after the cut off time for each official drawing. He was told as much and accepted the ticket anyway. It might have been his strategy to play minutes before the drawing. I know people who do this.

                        "Do everything you can. Then, leave the rest to luck."

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                          Posted: January 30, 2015, 11:45 am - IP Logged

                          Bummer for him. I realize this is Canada, but I would swear that in some states, the ticket machines actually shut down or go offline for an hour or two when the draw deadline passes. Presumably to prevent something like this being disputed. Is that real or am I mis-remembering it?

                          And my headline would have said "misses" jackpot by seven seconds, not loses.

                          good luck everyone.

                          You would think all lotteries would close a game out at least 5 or 10 minutes before the draw time ... that should be good enough to "clear" the system of any slow printing tickets.

                          I think in PA the games close 5 or 10 minutes before the actual drawing ... not 100% sure ... I also think MM and PB stop printing new tickets 45 minutes or an hour before the drawing ... again not 100% sure about that time deadline.

                          CW

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                            Seattle, Washington
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                            January 3, 2012
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                            Posted: January 30, 2015, 12:50 pm - IP Logged

                            I hate to see this kind of thing.  Ultimately, he shouldn't have waited until the last second to buy his tix, but it's sad to see someone lose out on so much by so little...